USAG Ansbach Celebrates First Known USO | Item
ANSBACH, Germany (February 22, 2022) – Get ready Ansbach, United States Organizations Inc. (USO) is coming to town. Soldiers “home away from home” will soon open the first known USO at United States Army Garrison (USAG) Ansbach.
Until now, the USO supported USAG Ansbach in the Katterbach and Illesheim areas with mobile assistance. They held several events for the soldiers, such as the Super Bowl, barbecues, etc., with support to move from their center in Bavaria to USAG Bavaria.
“It’s been a while since the request has been made for the USO to come here to Ansbach,” said Grant McCormick, regional vice president, USO Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We’ve been here running programs with different kinds of support, but as we’ve seen Ansbach grow and become established, we’ve noticed there’s a need here and it’s important to bring USO kindness to Ansbach. for soldiers, so we’re pretty excited about that.
Since its inception more than 80 years ago, the USO has supported our country’s military and their families as they defend our country and its freedoms. With more than 250 centers worldwide, USAG Ansbach will now have a full-fledged center.
“What will make supporting Ansbach so much easier for us is that we can do it from here instead of from Grafenwoehr,” said USO Zone Four Director Carly Harris. “It will serve as a hub to be able to support the peripheral kasernes, of which the Storck barracks is not the least. Our intention is to provide as much support as possible to the RAF (Regionally Allocated Forces).
“That’s the powerful thing about having this location, it’s our ability to reach. Having people here who have their thumbs on the pulse of what the soldier needs in Ansbach, within this community, is a really big deal,” McCormick said.
The USO plans to open the USAG Ansbach Center soon, with the building expected to be fully furnished and in use this spring. “We are committed to coming soon and providing Ansbach with USO goodness,” Harris said.
“The USO’s enduring presence is an incredible opportunity for our single Soldiers to volunteer and take advantage of all of the programs and events the USO offers. This presence will greatly increase the resilience of our Soldiers and our community of Ansbach,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Bohannon, USAG Ansbach Command Sergeant Major.
The USAG Ansbach site will begin as an unstaffed center, using volunteers to run the center. The USO will also utilize members of the Joint Expeditionary Team who will travel and provide constant support to carry out programming throughout Ansbach.
“The resilience of our soldiers is extremely important to our organization and having this center here in Ansbach will provide just that,” McCormick said.
The USO Center at USAG Ansbach will be able to provide soldiers with the opportunity to connect with their families and homes in a variety of ways. It will provide a number of amenities such as internet, refreshments, entertainment and a place to relax.
Different types of programming will also be offered at the centre. Gaming tournaments, poker tournaments, bingo, quizzes and family programming like extravaganzas for kids and parents as well as unit space to host unit barbecues.
“The USO presence in the Ansbach community is very important to us and we are very pleased to open the first known USO center in Ansbach,” said Col. Karen Hobart, USAG Ansbach Commanding Officer. “It’s huge for our soldiers and their families and what it will do for their morale, we’re excited about what it will do for resilience.”
Initially, the opening hours of the center will be based on community needs, with community volunteers manning the center. As the center becomes staffed, the hours and services will become more robust in terms of support.
“I want to thank Col. Hobart, Lt. Col. Cisneros, Command Sergeant Major Bohannon and the entire USAG Ansbach command team for all the hospitality and for making this a reality, because this they’re really the ones who drove this effort,” McCormick said.
“There’s been a lot of love getting us ready to come and we want to thank everyone who’s done what they’ve done here to get it ready for us,” Harris said.
The USO center in Ansbach will be located in building 5510 on the Katterbach Kaserne next to the bowling center and opposite the dining hall. Currently, there are 24 USO centers in Europe, making USAG Ansbach the 25th for the USO and the first known in Ansbach.